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I recently yanked hard drives from two very old PCs--one Dell about 10 years old, and an HP about 5 years old--that had been rendered unbootable for whatever reason and were now being recycled. I was able to recover complete drive images to my OS X system from both. My client is not computer-literate, but would like me to see if I can recover any personal data from these systems. Problem is, my expertise is with Macs, not PCs (though I am slowly learning).

My question is, on OS X 10.7 (command-line or otherwise), what is the best approach to sifting through the data on these two drive images? I believe the one was a Win98 system, the other WinXP.

At present, I am planning on using a combination of the find command in Terminal and Disk Inventory X to strip out all of the generic Windows cruft (like anything ending in .exe or .dll) and see if I can locate the user data directories where most of this stuff will be located.

I'm hoping someone with more knowledge of old PC filesystems and/or UNIX file hierarchy traversal might have better ideas!

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Most all User data for XP and W98 is in the My Documents folder. in that folder will be folders with the user account name. All of the data will be those user folders unless the user created other folders on C to store data. My Documents is the default user data store for Windows.

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